JSngry

Hey Kids, Have You Heard The News? MOSAIC's IN TROUBLE!!!

960 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I also don't understand these critical attitudes and all the "market logic" and "customer" talk. They are people in a small to very small business and everybody agrees on the importance of what they have put out. I believe one should recognize that and let them the time to think things over adjust and adapt in the best way for them and the rest of us.

Edited by OliverM

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Ah...

So we should hold smaller companies to different customer service standards than we do large companies?! 

I'd love to say that makes sense, but it doesn't. Not even a little. 

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Posted (edited)

I think that the disconnect between those who are more demanding on more efficient customer service and those who give Mosaic more slack is not just based on the size of the operation, but on a different set of assumptions on the business drivers. You are right that the size of the business alone should not excuse different levels of customer service, although it can explain a different level of customer service. I believe that there is a different perspective on what motivates Mosaic's business. If Mosaic Records primary motivation from its inception was for a highly-profitable business, they would have skipped the Jazz recordings model and focused on more popular music. I believe that Mosaic's primary driver was to make Jazz music for which the owners of Mosaic Records have a deep passion available to passionate listeners and that the "business" was/is merely a vehicle to feed the passion. My belief, whether accurate or not, that a rational person primarily driven by a desire to make money would not produce comprehensive jazz reissues allows me to cut Mosaic slack. My world view allows me to see my relationship with Mosaic not just as a business/customer one, but as fellow music lovers. Works for me, but may not work for others.

Edited by charlesp
reduce redundancy

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What does that have to do with purchasing a product, receiving an email the next day saying your order has been sent to the shipping warehouse, that the order should ship within 5-7 days at which time I'll receive a tracking number, while two weeks later I've heard nothing nor received a tracking number?

This is about customer service, not the overall business model. The customer service seems to be a leading factor in why Mosaic found themselves in trouble in the first place. 

What they sell is of no consequence. 

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1 hour ago, charlesp said:

I think that the disconnect between those who are more demanding on more efficient customer service and those who give Mosaic more slack is not just based on the size of the operation, but on a different set of assumptions on the business drivers. You are right that the size of the business alone should not excuse different levels of customer service, although it can explain a different level of customer service. I believe that there is a different perspective on what motivates Mosaic's business. If Mosaic Records primary motivation from its inception was for a highly-profitable business, they would have skipped the Jazz recordings model and focused on more popular music. I believe that Mosaic's primary driver was to make Jazz music for which the owners of Mosaic Records have a deep passion available to passionate listeners and that the "business" was/is merely a vehicle to feed the passion. My belief, whether accurate or not, that a rational person primarily driven by a desire to make money would not issue produce comprehensive jazz reissues allows me to cut Mosaic slack. My world view allows me to see my relationship with Mosaic not just as a business/customer one, but as fellow music lovers. Works for me, but may not work for others.

Pretty much how I see it. Mosaic is not selling razor blades or toilet paper; they're selling something that many of the likes of us dearly want and that was, at least at Mosaic's level of quality and in many cases just outright, available nowhere else (except in latter days, from pirates). Plus, if anyone here has had any direct contact with Cuscuna, Scott Wenzel, and the late Charlie Lourie, one knows that they are ( in Lourie's case, were) terrific people who are totally devoted "to [making] Jazz music for which the owners of Mosaic Records have a deep passion available to passionate listeners." Further, let us not forget the likely very positive effect of what Mosaic has done over all these years on the lives and sensibilities of thousands of people around the world, who have become intimately familiar with beautiful, important music that they otherwise might not have heard and who also learned a  great deal about that music's meaning and context (those booklets). 

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Yeah that. ^

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That´s it, Larry!

I totaly agree

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I purchased, what was at the time, an almost impossible CD to track down. The last recordings of Eric Dolphy (Naima and Unrealized Tapes). Finally track a copy down at a little boutique business in England. 

I was listening to it five days later. Shipped...from England. That's how companies that are actively looking to stay in business operate. 

By all means, let the hagiography for Cuscuna and Co. continue. But there are realities that cannot be ignored, and that they are responsible for. 

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Posted (edited)

Nice to see a couple of positive posts here about Mosaic, with thanks to charlesp and Larry Kart.

Edited by J.A.W.

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Reading this as an interested observer (I did not buy many Mosaic items through the years and those that I DID buy were bought from resellers/shops.

BUT ... While I would be prepared to cut Mosaic some slack too (like I have done with other mom-and-pop operations in other cases and fields) the gist of all these threads sounds like this to me: Ever since they outsourced their shipping operations things decidedly went downhill. I can understand those who get sort of uneasy about this, seeing that they paid what is no giveaway price for their goods. And if I cared about my business and the product I make available I would not allow this to happen to that extent (in fact it's not just that I wouldn't allow this to happen - I cannot AFFORD to let this happen - I am half of a 2-person office myself and have to see to it that my customers get their stuff on time too). So isn't it about time they get their hired serfs out there in those warehouses to clean up their act - fast?

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1 hour ago, Scott Dolan said:

I purchased, what was at the time, an almost impossible CD to track down. The last recordings of Eric Dolphy (Naima and Unrealized Tapes). Finally track a copy down at a little boutique business in England. 

I was listening to it five days later. Shipped...from England. That's how companies that are actively looking to stay in business operate. 

By all means, let the hagiography for Cuscuna and Co. continue. But there are realities that cannot be ignored, and that they are responsible for. 

Fine. But did the "little boutique business in England" from which you acquired that rare Dolphy CD have anything to do with (legitimately?) acquiring that material and annotatiing in a way that I assume you found satisfactory? Or was their role, and their expenses, essentially limited to taking orders and processing them? You do see that there may be further "realities" here "that cannot be ignored"?

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1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

Fine. But did the "little boutique business in England" from which you acquired that rare Dolphy CD have anything to do with (legitimately?) acquiring that material and annotatiing in a way that I assume you found satisfactory? Or was their role, and their expenses, essentially limited to taking orders and processing them? You do see that there may be further "realities" here "that cannot be ignored"?

Again, what in the hell does any of that have to do with SHIPPING?! 

Read Steve's post above yours, because he completely gets what is being discussed here.

This is 100% about shipping. Absolutely nothing else! 

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1 hour ago, Big Beat Steve said:

And if I cared about my business and the product I make available I would not allow this to happen to that extent (in fact it's not just that I wouldn't allow this to happen - I cannot AFFORD to let this happen

And there is the money quote. No pun intended. 

This entire thing started when J.A.W. started a thread that had everyone honking in their hankies because poor ol' Mosaic... :( 

Well, come to find out, after testimonials and personal experience, it seems as though "poor ol' Mosaic" is in trouble due to their own negligence! Stories of lost orders, orders shipped to the wrong customer with said wrong customer either being instructed to simply keep the product, or return it at Mosaic's cost. That can get incredibly costly, and damn near overnight! Then there's the customer service issue surrounding it all. 

And why? Because they farmed out that part of their operation. 

So do they put a posse together and ride down to the shipping company and demand to know WTF?! OR, and stop me if I'm being too logical here, find ANOTHER shipping company?! One that might be, you know, competent at what they do? 

Nope, they'd rather continue to hemorrhage money, and risk alienating loyal customers. 

Oh, but it's the final sin to mention any of THAT! This should be an absolutely swinging wake! R.I.P. Mosaic! You were the best! Until you actively chose not to be and nobody was allowed to talk about it. 

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1 hour ago, Scott Dolan said:

Again, what in the hell does any of that have to do with SHIPPING?! 

Read Steve's post above yours, because he completely gets what is being discussed here.

This is 100% about shipping. Absolutely nothing else! 

So go deal with an outfit whose shipping service you prefer and forgo access to what Mosaic offers. I'm not saying that Mosaic is perfect in their shipping service, but, as Steve says, they outsourced their shipping operations. Why? Probably because they thought they could save/needed to save money there in order to keep doing things that they thought of as more important to the overall quality of the operation. If so, then this wouldn't be "100% about shipping. Absolutely nothing else!" It would be about choices Mosaic probably made that you don't like and think were unwise. In that last, you may be right; we shall see. They will lose the business of some of their potential customers, such as you, who place a high value on shipping service but may continue to retain the business of customers who prize the quality of Mosaics sets and are prepared to put up with shipping service that is less than ideal.

I should add that I've never in all these years had a problem with Mosaic's shipping such as the ones you describe -- " lost orders, orders shipped to the wrong customer with said wrong customer either being instructed to simply keep the product, or return it at Mosaic's cost." Maybe if I had...
OTOH, when I ordered something from Presto Classical in England several years ago, my credit card info was nabbed somewhere along the way and used to set up a porn site in Eastern Europe at a cost of a good many thousand dollars. I did get the charges erased eventually, but that was not at all amusing. :)

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Posted (edited)

Well, we've seen a lot of testimonials here, and on the erstwhile thread that started this all, outlining exactly those kinds of problems. And those are the kinds of problems that will quickly kill off any small to medium size company. 

And you can kindly shove your bullshit about me being more concerned with shipping than I am with the music. That's complete and utter nonsense. But whatever way you need to spin it to serve your agenda. 

But that's the way conversation flows in the digital age, isn't it? State facts, and there will be someone there to twist what you're saying as though you are trying to sink them or something/someone they love. 

Edited by Scott Dolan

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Scott Dolan said:

Oh, but it's the final sin to mention any of THAT! This should be an absolutely swinging wake! R.I.P. Mosaic! You were the best! Until you actively chose not to be and nobody was allowed to talk about it. 

:tup

They will retain my business al long as I am able to order through Jazz Messengers Barcelona.

Edited by erwbol

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Posted (edited)

Many of us here will give Mosaic way more leeway with regards to some of the stuff that has some people so upset. That's human nature. Most of us have had many excellent exchanges with them so we are willing to give them some slack. That should be easy to understand. I love their products and I have had many great buying experiences with them. I'm not going to bail on them because of a few shipping snafus.

I do agree that their business decision to outsource their shipping service to an outside company has had a negative impact on their service but I am willing to accept that... let me re-state that - I have to accept that. I am not going to stop doing business with them and that's the only other option. I also agree that it appears it could turn off some of their customers and hasten their demise. That sucks.

But here's the thing. We don't know why they outsourced shipping. We don't know who they outsourced their shipping to. We don't know if they have a contract with that shipping company. We don't know if that shipping company gave them a discount if they were able to take their time fulfilling orders. We don't know anything other than the fact that orders are taking longer to ship and they seem to screw up a lot more.

Here's the thing that we really don't know: Is Mosaic trying to do something about this? We don't know! Can they do anything about this is even another matter. What if they signed a 5 year contract? One shouldn't jump to conclusions without the facts.

So I am going to keep giving them my business, crappy shipping service and all. My money, my decision. Your money, your decision. I just hope I have the ability to use my money at this company in the future. :)

Edited by Kevin Bresnahan

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Charlesp and Larry Kart have spoken well about what they represent for many of us.

My reaction was mainly because I believe they deserved more respect. Why so much agressivity towards them and for what seems to me as so little (you could have waited much longer for some of their music had they not been there)? They might not be the most efficient business model, but do we have enough information to judge this? And in the end what counts more to me is the relationship to the music, the way they produce and edit it. Sameways, when I place an order from Emanem, Incus or Futura (to mention even smaller businesses), this doesn't feel like a capitalistic relationship but a direct link between people who put out great music they love and listeners.

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BTW, in my line of work, we often use outside services for our test equipment. The cost of the service contract hinged on how long we would allow that company to fix the test equipment. 24 hour turn time was one price. 48 hour turn time was less. 72 hour turn time was a lot less. Something like this might be at work here.

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Hey, I love Mosaic, I'm a lifer (at least until the Goodman comes back!), and I toally get the cutting them slack because _____ but...

  • Just as I wanted nothing to do with the Four Freshman set, I don't want anything to do with the Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, of Eddie Condon sets (although for those, it's just a matter of I don't want that much more of artists I already enjoy, and the the FF, it was strictly a matter of FUCK The Four Freshmen, ok). OTOH, the more Cuscuna-centric product has gotten my fullest-ish support. Dial/Savoy/Beehive, not needed, but Braxton, Threadgill, Jordan, etc, hell yeah, Just because.
  • Business realities change, have change, continue to change. Thier market is shrinking, the EeeYew PD Musiporn sets are just stupid mad ubiquitous, and, you know, physical product, so yeah, they're old, we're3 old, but still adapt or die, as they say, and if you're ok with dying, that brings us to our next point:
  • Why in GOD'S name do you put it out there that OMG, we're about to drown, and then get caught apparently totally off-guard when the people you know want your shit actually come and get it because, you know, if you say you're drowning, hell I'm gonna believe you. You get 1000 life preservers thrown at you,at least pick one, right? Don't go swimming around yelling for help, take the help and do something with it, don't just flail around in the water, get to the boat, get pulled in and then jump right back in the water, ok? Especially on the assumption that all those other life preservers will still be there waiting for you for as often as you jump.
  • I mean, I know life is not that simple when real people are involved, but, you know, be careful what you ask for and all that. This great country of ours was and is still built on cheap and/or free labor, so, c'mon. Hire some parolees for a day or two a week. Pretty sure it's deductible if you do it right.
  • So - any word about the Goodman?

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3 hours ago, Scott Dolan said:

Well, we've seen a lot of testimonials here, and on the erstwhile thread that started this all, outlining exactly those kinds of problems. And those are the kinds of problems that will quickly kill off any small to medium size company. 

And you can kindly shove your bullshit about me being more concerned with shipping than I am with the music. That's complete and utter nonsense. But whatever way you need to spin it to serve your agenda. 

But that's the way conversation flows in the digital age, isn't it? State facts, and there will be someone there to twist what you're saying as though you are trying to sink them or something/someone they love. 

First, Mosaic isn't just "any small to medium size company." The problems you describe may prove to be fatal to Mosaic, but the company's mission and track record in fulfilling that mission over the years are unique.

Second, where did I say you were "more concerned with shipping than ... with the music"? I said that you "placed a high value on shipping," which clearly seems to be the case -- that's all. 

2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Hire some parolees for a day or two a week.

You're available? :)

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Shortly...

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7 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Pretty much how I see it. Mosaic is not selling razor blades or toilet paper; they're selling something that many of the likes of us dearly want and that was, at least at Mosaic's level of quality and in many cases just outright, available nowhere else (except in latter days, from pirates). Plus, if anyone here has had any direct contact with Cuscuna, Scott Wenzel, and the late Charlie Lourie, one knows that they are ( in Lourie's case, were) terrific people who are totally devoted "to [making] Jazz music for which the owners of Mosaic Records have a deep passion available to passionate listeners." Further, let us not forget the likely very positive effect of what Mosaic has done over all these years on the lives and sensibilities of thousands of people around the world, who have become intimately familiar with beautiful, important music that they otherwise might not have heard and who also learned a  great deal about that music's meaning and context (those booklets). 

Completely agree Larry. 

6 hours ago, J.A.W. said:

Nice to see a couple of positive posts here about Mosaic, with thanks to charlesp and Larry Kart.

Yup, amen to that. 

The whole issue from today on this thread seems to have to do with shipping and response times from Mosaic.  I'm not particularly happy about how long it took me to get the Ella set and I did send off to Scott a rather curt email (for which I later apologized) but at the end of the day I cooled off and cut them slack because they're offering a unique product.  It's not like I can go online and find someone else who sells what they sell. If that were the case, yes, I would have cancelled my order. In my business they're what you call a single source supplier.  Moreover, and last and not definitely least, they're a jewel and we just can't lose them, warts and all. 

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Ever had to tell a parent that they can't drive anymore, it's just not safe, that they're better off letting you drive them and you'll be happy to do that?

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While my recent shipping delay and boxed sets received in error were a minor frustration, I realize that no one is perfect. I appreciate their quest to put together unique boxed sets with detailed liner notes, historical photos and attempting to find every viable take from each session they document. Even then they aren't perfect as sometimes the performances they seek are hidden elsewhere in the licensing label's archives or turn out to be in private hands and unknown to them. Michael Cuscuna was disappointed that they managed to overlook one previously issued track in the Paul Desmond boxed set, but compare that to many labels which goof on a regular basis and get a pass.

 

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